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SnapCenter - Cloning VM from Snapshot

Hi All,

I'm just trying to get an undertstanding about what the process is for cloning a VM from a NetApp Snapshot and what is happening on the NetApp side. We are using the SnapCenter Plug-In for VMware vSphere 4.0.0.809 and vSphere 6.5.

From what I understand, there is no one-step process to clone a VM from specific NetApp snapshot. Am I wrong in this thinking? I've figured out that I can mount virtual disks from the snapshots to a cloned VM and then simply delete the existing disks (from this post https://community.netapp.com/t5/VMware-Solutions-Discussions/Restoring-VMs-from-snapshots/m-p/24271#M2335). This essentially gets me where I need to be, but I have some observations about this process that I don't quite understand.

After mounting the virtual disks from the snapshot to the new VM, a new clone volume is created on the NetApp (e.g. vmware_vm_datastore_4_vol01031910475547036 from datastore_4_vol) and a new datastore in VMware (NetApp_vmware_datas(sc-20190103084848) from NetApp_vmware_datastore_4). I'm guessing this is like a "zero cost" clone of the original virtual disks?

Since the new datastore is not part of my existing backup policy groups, I have decided to do a storage vMotion to one of my existing production VM datastores, since I want to bring this new cloned VM into production. What happens to this new NetApp_vmware_datas(sc-20190103084848) datastore after the virtual disks have been moved? My observation is nothing happens. It's still there on both the NetApp side and VMware side. Does it get automatically cleaned up at some point or do I need to delete it manually? Is it safe to do so?

The end goal is to have a copy of a VM from a snapshot while keeping my volumes and datstores lists clean (by not having tons of clones). 

I hope I explained myself clearly enough and would appreciate any advice you might have.

Thanks!

2 REPLIES 2

Re: SnapCenter - Cloning VM from Snapshot

If you will configure VVols, then you'll be able to clone a VM in a simple and elegant way.

Re: SnapCenter - Cloning VM from Snapshot

Thanks. I actually figured out what I needed and couldn't find a way to delete my post. I didn't read enough into the original post's message. 

All I needed to do was "unmount" the cloned datastore at the vCenter level and it unmounts from the NetApp as well. A similar process is found in the guide here: https://community.netapp.com/t5/Virtualization-Articles-and-Resources/Rapid-VM-Restore-Technique-using-VSC-and-Storage-vMotion/ta-p/85031

We are using SnapCenter for snapshots of the datastore, and from the documentation, it appears that SnapCenter cannot back up VVols.

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